POLITICIAN Kenneth Matiba suffered a serious stroke on May 26, 1991, but remained in detention without medication for one week, the High Court heard on Tuesday.
Veteran heart specialist Dr Dan Gikonyo said Matiba’s medical condition could have been managed by prompt treatment but he was held in detention despite his deteriorating health.
The 83-year-old former presidential candidate was only released from detention on June 4, 1991, two days after a head scan had confirmed he was bleeding in his brain and required urgent blockage of the arteries.
Testifying before Justice Isaac Lenaola, Gikonyo said due to the unnecessary delay, the politician, who prior to his detention was a physically active man, suffered permanent disability that confined him to a wheelchair.
“He was taken to the best hospital in England where he was attended to by several neurosurgeons, but despite all that, he suffered a left sided brain damage”, he said.
Matiba has sued the government for detention and torture during the Moi regime, seeking nearly Sh12 billion in compensation.
He says he spent more than Sh9.1 million for his treatment and continues to endure poor health.
“Brain damage is irreparable, and with his age, Matiba has continued to be much weaker,” Gikonyo said.
The doctor told the court that although the politician suffered some mild form of high blood pressure before detention, which he controlled through exercise and treatment, lack of medical care and continuous harassment made his health to deteriorate.
He said although Matiba decided to run for presidency in 1992, he was still very ill and could not have physically run an office.
“Even though he could make statements on general principals, he still had disabilities,” Gikonyo said.
Matiba woes began when he and politician Charles Rubia called a press conference in the 90s to demand that Kenya should revert to a multi-party state.
The two also called for the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for fresh elections, an end to the mismanagement of public affairs and the implementation of better socio-economic policies.
They said the policies could only be achieved by opening up the democratic space to pave the way for multi-party democracy.
– See more at: The Star